Connestee Cooks: Celebrate Summer With Food

Connestee Falls Cookbook Cover ArtCONNESTEE COOKS! is a cookbook compiled of classic recipes from the myriad of chefs in residence at Connestee Falls. The book covers a wide range of meals, styles and ingredients. The culinary diversity is shared in recipes from the book posted regularly here on the Blog.

Summer Squash Casserole from Connestee FallsAs summer arrives in the Smoky Mountains so does fresh produce in abundance.  The Carolina’s are home to many locally grown varieties and this time of year small fruit and vegetable stands pop up around the region.  Grocery stores and markets also stock a wide variety of summer fruits and vegetables from local growers and beyond.

These recipes from our Connestee Cooks feature dishes that include fresh veggies in mouth-watering summer favorites and unique creations.

First up is a lovely pasta recipe from Judy Spencer.

SUMMER TOMATOES AND FRESH HERBS PASTA
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 lb. firm ripe tomatoes, cored
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tsp. finely chopped oregano leaves and marjoram leaves
2 Tbsp. finely shredded basil leaves
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
In a large skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic and as soon as it sizzles, stir in the tomatoes and herbs. Saute until the tomatoes’ juices thickens, 7 to 10 minutes. Pour over cooked pasta.

Our next recipe from Karen Marshall features one of summer’s most popular vegetables in the classic dish that is perfect for those large summer gatherings with friends and family.

SUMMER SQUASH CASSEROLE
2 lb. yellow squash, sliced very thin
¼ c. onion, chopped
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
1 c. shredded carrots
1 (8 oz.) pkg. herb – seasoned stuffing mix
½ c. butter, melted
Cook squash and onion in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes.
Drain. Combine soup and sour cream. Stir in shredded carrot.
Fold in squash and onion. Combine stuffing mix with butter. Spread ½ ofstuffing mixture in pan. Spoon vegetable mixture on top and put rest of stuffing over vegetables. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes. Use Anchor medium dish. Serves 10.

Summer is also peak grilling season. Fire up the gas or coals and try this meatless vegetable recipe by Mary Groggel

GRILLED VEGETABLE SALAD
c. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 ½ tsp. molasses
½ lb. carrots, scraped
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
1 large onion
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut all veggies in large pieces and add them to the vinegar mixture. Marinate for 30 minutes. Drain veggies, reserving the marinade. Arrange veggies in grill basket and grill over medium heat for 20 minutes. Return veggies to marinade and toss. Cover and refrigerator at least 8 hours.

Enjoy these great summer inspired recipes and share one of your own below with a comment. Find previous Connestee Cooks recipes here on the Reflections Blog.


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